Look What We Found Pouches
We were recently blessed by the om nom fairy and received a full box of lovely Look What We found pouches to review. We received free food, which always makes us happy, especially when it’s as good as this! If you’ve not seen these before, the Look What We found are a regular brand of ready meal that come in non-refrigerated pouches, making them perfect for camping. Not only are they the ideal format for stuffing in the pack, they’ve managed to get the taste right as well, so even better for stuffing them in your mouth as well. They’re also produced from natural ingredients sourced from independent growers, with the name and photo of the farmer who inspired that product on each pack. If you’ve a gluten intolerance then most of their range is gluten free (all those below are).
On their site they claim to:
disprove the notion that long-life food must be tasteless and bland. We benchmark our meals against the very best in the chilled and frozen food market and take pride in guaranteeing that ours are better. They genuinely do taste as good as homemade.
We take a look at a selection of their ready meals to see how true this is!
I tried the Tees Valley Meatballs a few years back and ever since it’s been one of my favourite camping meals, take this with you and you’ll be looking forward to this all day. They’ve kept me going in freezing weather in the Rhinogydd and on multiday trips in Scotland, and I’m still not fed up of them. As it is just your main meal and no carbs, you can bulk this out however you see fit. Served with a portion of noodles (or two if you need the carbs) this is filling enough to end any day or add a bit of chilli and serve with rice.
An added bonus is that the meal isn’t greasy, so your pot cleans easily with water and a cloth, which can often be a disadvantage if you’re cooking proper foods. If there’s no washing up, then I’m usually happy.
These are also cheap considering that Wayfarers cost nearer a fiver and unlike other camping foods if you buy a stock in advance, then you’ll need willpower to ensure you’ve got some left for camping! I’ve only once felt the need to dip into my regular wild camping larder at home, and I was far from sober at the time. I bought a basketful of these for 99p each from a local box shifter under a month ago, along with the review pouch, and not one made it near a mountain! Hence no picture.
You can, apparently boil in the bag, but if you’re going light then you probably won’t fit the pouch in your saucepan and find it’s easier to cook your noodles/pasta first before warming up these and adding the pasta back into the pot to warm the lot back up. You’ll need something to soak the noodles in, or you can just drain them and then warm the lot up carefully and eat!
The Staffordshire Chicken Tikka is another product that comes without carbs, making it ideal to bulk up into a filling evening meal. Like all pre-made curries, you could do with more chicken, but mixing it with a pouch of microwave rice is about right. The sauce is creamy too, which means that even if you do manage to finish off the meat before the rest, you might not even notice! This one will find it’s way onto many future wild camps.
The Tees Valley Beef in Black Velvet Ale is another favourite, but providing only in the region of 250 calories it’s not enough for an evening meal. It’s ideal however as a lunch in place of other more mundane options such as oat cakes and Primula. I still remember tucking into one of these at the Lairig bothy a few years back, and there’s not many lunches on the hill that I can recall that clearly; bar a home made lamb madras that caused a DofE group to dribble uncontrollably on the Moel Siabod trig, but that’s another story.
A mention for luxury has to be the Venison stew with apricots. Not a combination you’d expect to work, but it does. Another lunch to look forward to.
Our guest gear tester/opportunistic glutton (deltete as appliccable) Mark Parry also reviewed some of the stews, and this is what he thought:
This … reminded me of the good old days, when my “gran” had a pot of the good old welsh “Lob Sgows” on the boil, the smell and taste of which I thought could never be captured in such a ready meal, well this Mutton Stew has achieved this.
Cumbrian Lamb Hotpot
Been a keen hotpot and stew fan, having been given the opportunity to taste this out of the packet meal my taste buds where not expecting to be amazed. However upon opening and cooking this meal, my initial expectations where soon replaced by the depth of flavour (hint of Mint Sauce), provided by this long life ready meal and the ease of preparation/cooking. The only fault I could find is the calorific benefit of this meal is not that great and could do with some extra seasoning (having said that I like extra salt with my meals). I decided to eat the meal in combination with mash which I found make the perfect companion. I would highly recommend this as an alternate to the standard dehydrated overnight wild camp.
Herdwick Mutton Stew
Again one of those I did not hold high hopes for this long life meal, but amazed with the depth of flavour provided by this stew. This stew reminded me of the good old days, when my “gran” had a pot of the good old welsh “Lob Sgows” on the boil, the smell and taste of which I thought could never be captured in such a ready meal, well this Mutton Stew has achieved this. The only down side again to this meal is the low calorific benefits, however this meal would be perfect eaten in combination with a nice bread, or even for those true outdoor campers “Bannock Bread”.
Overall impressions so far – well now I have realised the range of food they have on offer I am tempted to buy some of the others to continue with the wild camp in luxury.
Now for a Welshman to say it’s as good as his Nain’s Lob Sgows is as high a praise as you can give any food.